Dumbbell Training 101

Pat casey77 Pat Casey   Whether you’re looking to simplify or enhance your training, look no further than the dumbbell rack at your local gym. Coaches and athletes have long lauded for dumbbells their versatility — you can perform a virtually limitless number of exercises with just one pair of dumbbells. Dumbbells also allow lifters and athletes to execute an exercise with a fuller, more natural range of motion, which may prove beneficialin eliciting greater metabolic stress and muscle damage since range of motion is expanded. Further, dumbbells permit lifters greater latitude in altering the positioning of distal segments, i.e. arms and legs, as opposed to traditional barbell lifts, which reduces joint discomfort, particularly shoulder pain, associated with barbell pressing and squatting movements. Lastly, since both distal segments are not locked in a fixed position with a clenched fist, as is the case with barbell exercises, dumbbells emerge as the safer option, since they can be discarded more easily during an aborted or failed lift. Literature involving EMG comparing barbell and dumbbell exercises has generated somewhat confounding reports. It has long been theorized that dumbbells can isolate a muscle better, apart from stress imposed on surrounding musculoskeletal architecture, namely non-contracile bony and ligamentous structures, however, barbells allow for heavier loads, thus requiring greater interaction of the central nervous system, as high threshhold motor units are recruited and muscular contraction velocity becomes enhanced, especially during circa maximal lifts. While a blend of barbell and dumbbell exercises within a program is ideal, dumbbells prevail as a safer, more convenient option, especially for those that train alone, travel often (most hotel fitness centers are equipped with dumbbells), and those not specializing in or needing to train the “big three” or Olympic lifts. Dumbbells are also ideal as a deload option or as a change of pace to curtail training related staleness among traditional competitive strength athletes. Dumbbells also appropriate as assistance exercises, particularly those intended to fix muscular imbalances and bring up weak points or simply known as “filling in the gaps”. Below is a list of dumbbell exercises, which I’ve categorized as power, strength, metabolic conditioning, or hypertrophy / assistance, in no particular order of preference or effectiveness. Also featured below is an actual workout I’ve completed while traveling and only having access to a dumbbell rack from 5 to 50 pound dumbbells in five-pound increments. Power Dumbbell Snatch Dumbbell Clean Dumbbell Jump Shrug Dumbbell Goblet Jump Squat Dumbbell Push Press Dumbbell Thruster Dumbbell Circus Clean and Press Strength Dumbbell RDL Dumbbell Goblet Squat Dumbbell Goblet Squat with Pulse Dumbbell Row Dumbbell Bench Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Reverse Lunge Dumbbell Forward Lunge Dumbbell Goblet Duck Walk Dumbbell Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat Dumbbell Arm Bar Dumbbell Turkish Get Up Dumbbell Renegade Row Chest Supported Dumbbell Row Dumbbell Upright Row Dumbbell Row to Hip Metabolic Conditioning Dumbbell Farmers Walks Dumbbell Suitcase Carries Dumbbell Waiter’s Carry Dumbbell Overhead Carry Hypertrophy / Assistance Incline Dumbbell Curl Dumbbell Zottman Curl Dumbbell Tate Press Dumbbell Triceps Combo Exercise Dumbbell Shrug Dumbbell Lateral Raise Dumbbell Front Raise Dumbbell Bent Rear Lateral Raise Dumbbell Six Way Raise Dumbbell Fly Dumbbell Calf Raise Dumbbell I, Y, T     Day One: Chest, Back, and Shoulders 1A) Chest Supported Dumbbell Row 5 x 12 3333 tempo 1B) Dumbbell Bench Press 5 x 15 3333 tempo 2A) Dumbbell Row to Hip 4 x 10 (each side) 3333 tempo 2B) Dumbbell Incline Bench Press 5 x 12 3A) Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 x 15 3B) Dumbbell Row 3 x 30 (each side) 4) Dumbbell Renegade Row with Push Ups 2 x 10 rows each side, 1 push up between each row, totaling 20 pushups on each set     Day Two: Legs 1A) Dumbbell Goblet Duck Walks 3 x 10 steps each leg 1B) Glute Brigde with feet elevated on hex head of dumbbell to facilitate greater glute contraction 3 x 10 3333 tempo 2) Dummbbell RDL 4 x 12 3333 tempo 3) Dumbbell Goblet Squat 5 x 20 4) Dumbbell Walking Lunge 3 x 10 steps each leg 5) Dumbbell Calf Raise 3 x 30     Day Three: Upper Back and Arms 1A) Incline Dumbbell Curls 3 x 10 1B) Dumbbell Triceps Combo Exercise 3 X 10 2A) Dumbbell Zottman Curl 3 x 15 2B) Dumbbell Neutral Grip Push Ups 3 x 20 3A) Dumbbell I, Y, T 3 x 15 each 3B) Dumbbell Shrug 3 x 20 3333 tempo  ]]>